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Poster: guyzilla Date: Jun 2, 2010 12:02pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

There's a lot of good arguements here about the use of sound and music on film so I thought I'd jump in with my own opinion on the subject. There are instances where music can highten the mood of some motion pictures and there are also times when a film can do just fine without it.

"Dracula(1931)" only used bits of "Swan Lake" in the opening and I thought it was just great like that. When they came out with that edition with the score by Philip Glass, my reaction was "WHY?" It was an old film with a new score that just didn't belong there. It SOUNDED like it was added later. Too obvious. Hated it.

"Reservoir Dogs". Great film, no score, just a few songs that were popular when I was in sixth grade. A friend of mine had the soundtrack album from this film that had those songs plus DIALOG from the film, as there were probably too few songs to make an album.

"King Kong (1933)", in addition to being one of the earliest special effects showcases, was one of the earliest films to have an actual score. I think this is particularly interesting when you consider the sound film was still in it's infancy, though at this point silent films were a thing of the past. The score blends in and enhances the film wothout overpowering it. To me, this film is a masterpiece, then, now, and always will be.

Hammer Films, venturing into the "B" movie area, the music was often re-used in a number of films from the late 50's to the early 60's, (though I noticed "Brides of Dracula" used at least some music exclusive to itself,) was quite effective for the economy of the productions. Great filmaking for the budgets they had to work with.

"Silent" films, when viewed in their era, weren't usually viewed without sound. Often they were viewed with live musical accompaniment, often a pianist, an organist, or even with a full orchestra. I believe if the film industry was able to develope films with their own sountracks sooner than they did, they would have. Look at early "talkies" like "The Jazz Singer (1927)" or "The Mysterious Island (1929)". These were essentially silent films except for a few sound segments. To make a full-length sound film at that time would have been too expensive for most film makers.

As far as the other arguements whether a good film should have a score or not, that depends on a lot of different things. It could depend on the kind of story that's being filmed, the style of a particular film maker, and the way the score is going to be used or not used. But it also depends on the taste of the individual viewer. Who's to say whether someone is a film expert or a "Philistine" if that person would rather watch "Robot Monster" over "Gone With The Wind"? Whether a film is good or not depends on what YOU think, not who you ask.

This post was modified by guyzilla on 2010-06-02 19:02:56